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Best Biographies

Looking for good biographies to read? Below you’ll find a curated list of the best biographies based on true events from which you can learn something new.

Whether you’re looking for the best biographies based on politics, leaders and wars, or entrepreneurship, you’ll enjoy this list of the best biographies of all-time.

The 10 Best Biographies Of All Time.


1. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

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Synopsis: On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

2. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

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Synopsis: Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.


3. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

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Synopsis: In the first full-length biography of Alexander Hamilton in decades, Ron Chernow tells the riveting story of a man who overcame all odds to shape, inspire, and scandalize the newborn America.


4. Napoleon: A Life by Andrew Roberts

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Synopsis: Andrew Roberts’s Napoleon is the first one-volume biography to take advantage of the recent publication of Napoleon’s thirty-three thousand letters, which radically transform our understanding of his character and motivation.


5. John Adams by David McCullough

Synopsis: In this powerful, epic biography, David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life-journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot — “the colossus of independence,” as Thomas Jefferson called him — who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution; who rose to become the second President of the United States and saved the country from blundering into an unnecessary war; who was learned beyond all but a few and regarded by some as “out of his senses”; and whose marriage to the wise and valiant Abigail Adams is one of the moving love stories in American history.

 

6. Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff

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Synopsis: Her palace shimmered with onyx, garnets, and gold, but was richer still in political and sexual intrigue. Above all else, Cleopatra was a shrewd strategist and an ingenious negotiator.


7. Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie

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Synopsis: Pulitzer Prize winner Massie offers the tale of a princess who went to Russia at 14 and became one of the most powerful women in history.


8. Churchill: Walking with Destiny by Andrew Roberts

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Synopsis: In The Storm of War, Andrew Roberts gave us a tantalizing glimpse of Churchill the war leader. Now, at last, we have the full and definitive biography, as personally revealing as it is compulsively readable, about one of the great leaders of all time.


9. Grant by Ron Chernow

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Synopsis: Ulysses S. Grant’s life has typically been misunderstood. All too often he is caricatured as a chronic loser and inept businessman, fond of drinking to excess; or as the triumphant but brutal Union general of the Civil War; or as a credulous and hapless president whose tenure came to symbolize the worst excesses of the Gilded Age.


10. C. S. Lewis: A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet by Alister E. McGrath

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Synopsis: In C.S. Lewis: A Life, Alister McGrath, prolific author and respected professor at King’s College of London, paints a definitive portrait of the life of C. S. Lewis. After thoroughly examining recently published Lewis correspondence, Alister challenges some of the previously held beliefs about the exact timing of Lewis’s shift from atheism to theism and then to Christianity.


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